Saturday, February 02, 2008

Baroness Ros Scott on Bishops in the House of Lords

Dear Roger,

Thanks for inviting me to the talk tonight by Graham Watson MEP and Baroness Ros Scott.

Although I did not ask a question from the floor due to the number of questions being raised, I did ask Ros Scott a question after the meeting.

As a member of BHA & NSS I asked her was she aware of these organisations concerns about the presence of 26 unelected Bishops in the House of Lords?

She confided that she was a non-religious person herself and was aware of some of the issues raised by these organisations. She felt that the Bishops were ‘quite liberal’ but often ‘sang from the same hymn sheet’ whatever the issue because their view was largely dictated by the ‘holy’ book. As a non-religious person she had to make up her own mind on issues of ethics and morals on a case by case basis. This was one of the hardest parts of her job, Ros said.

She was aware that in a non-elected Lords the Bishops should be joined by others of other faiths. If however the Lords were elected then some mechanism would need to be in place to give a fair representation to religious, she said.

We discussed the Lord Joffe bill Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill (she voted against it) and she agreed that Bishops may have had an undue influence in altering the outcome of this bill.

Best Regards


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